Posts tagged: 911

Survival Medicine 101 Part 7: How To Treat Sprains, Dislocations, And Fractures

sprains-and-fracturesphoto source:

Sprains, dislocations, and fractures are the type of injuries that involve a lot of pain and swelling. Also, walking becomes very difficult, so it’s even harder to get help if you don’t have your phone around. And if it happens during a disaster, when there’s nothing but chaos all over the place, you’re in for the time of your life!

Now, I don’t mean to get all apocalyptic about this, but I do believe it’s very important that you know basic measures when you’re dealing with bone and joint injuries.

So let’s take them one by one and go through the whole process together:


Most people get a sprain at least once in their lives, so you’re probably familiar with the symptoms: pain and swelling mostly, but also discoloration (when the sprained area turns black and blue).

Now, even if it hurts, do not call 911 for a sprain. Those guys take on more severe cases. However, according to, you should go see a doctor if there’s one close to you, especially if you’re experiencing:

• severe pain

• inability to put any weight on it victim unable to put any weight on it

• inability to move it

• inability to walk

• numbness

• redness or red streaks spread out from the injury

• pain, swelling, or redness over a bony part of your foot

When it comes to treating sprains, you should think RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate):

REST the sprained joint. Don’t try to walk if you’re feeling severe pain whenever you take a step or two. But if you have to walk, use a cane to take most of your body weight.

ICE the sprained area with an ice pack.

COMPRESS it with an elastic bandage. Like this:

ELEVATE the sprain above the level of the heart during the first 48 hours. Just place your foot on top of some pillows or a rolled blanket and keep it that way as much as possible.

Dislocations and Fractures

According to, these are the guidelines to treat a fracture or dislocation if medical help is not available:

Apply a cold pack to the areaof fracture or dislocation to decrease swelling and to relieve pain.

Flush open wounds associated with compound fractures with clean, fresh water and cover them with a dry dressing.

Splint the injured area to keep it from moving. Support a broken limb by using the best material available for a splint, such as sticks, part of a backpack frame, or other stabilizing devices. Wrap tape around the splint and the extremity affected. For example, if a forearm is broken, the splint should run from the wrist to the upper arm and support the arm without repositioning it.

Monitor the extremity near the fracture or dislocation, assessing any loss of sensation, decreased temperature, and pulse.

However, the first thing to do is call 911. ALWAYS.

Pain can get pretty nasty in case of dislocations or fractures, so take 1-2 tablets of acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 4 hours or 1-2 tablets of ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) every 6-8 hours.

I really hope you’ll never have to take these measures, not for yourself or for anyone else. But if you do, I hope they help you treat your injury and relieve your pain. Make sure you stay safe, alright?

By Anne Sunday

Survival Medicine 101 Part 4: CPR

Survival Medicine 101 Part 4 - CPRimage:

Last time I promised you I’d show you how to perform CPR correctly, in case you’ll ever need to bring someone back to life (or keep someone alive). I honestly hope you’ll never have to do this, but it’s good to know these things… just in case.

Now, I clearly remember taking a CPR course in high school, but I wanted to check all the steps again… and what I found was a bit more complex than what I learned. But it’s not that difficult, so don’t freak out thinking I’m going to get you through med school in just a few minutes, ok?

There will be videos, too, taken right from the University of Washington website, so you’ll see exactly how to perform every step of the way.

CPR for Adults

Step #1: CALL

Check the victim for unresponsiveness(shake or shout at the victim). If the person is not responsive and not breathing or not breathing normally, call 911 and return to the victim. In most locations the emergency dispatcher can assist you with CPR instructions.

Don’t forget to keep calm. Do as told and tell the dispatcher about any change in the victim’s state.

Step #2: PUMP

If the victim is still not responding normally to stimuli or if he still can’t breathe right, begin chest compressions. Push down in the center of the chest 2 inches 30 times. Pump hard and fast at the rate of at least 100/minute, faster than once per second.

Step #3: BLOW

Tilt the head back and lift the chin. Pinch nose and cover the mouth with yours and blow until you see the chest rise. Give 2 breaths. Each breath should take 1 second.


NOTE: This ratio is the same for one-person & two-person CPR. In two-person CPR the person pumping the chest stops while the other gives mouth-to-mouth breathing.

And here’s the video:

Now lets’ move on to…

CPR for Children

It’s similar to CPR for adults. If you are alone with the victim, give 2 minutes of CPR and then call 911.

Step #1: PUMP

Use the heel of one or two hands for chest compression. Press the sternum about one-third the depth of the chest (about 2 inches) at the rate of least 100/minute.

Step #2: BLOW

Tilt the head back and listen for breathing. If not breathing normally, pinch nose and cover the mouth with yours and blow until you see the chest rise. Give 2 breaths. Each breath should take 1 second.


And the video:

Now here’s a more difficult type of CPR:

CPR for Infants

You’ve got to be extremely careful not to break any bones or harm the baby in any way. If you are alone with the baby, perform 2 minutes of CPR and then call 911.

Step #1: Shout and Tap

Shout and gently tap the child on the shoulder. If there is no response and not breathing or not breathing normally, position the infant on his or her back and begin CPR.

Step #2: Give 30 Compressions

Give 30 gentle chest compressions at the rate of at least 100 per minute. Use two or three fingers in the center of the chest just below the nipples. Press down approximately one-third the depth of the chest (about 1 and a half inches).

Step #3: Open The Airway

Open the airway using a head tilt lifting of chin. Do not tilt the head too far back.

Step #4: Give 2 Gentle Breaths

If the baby is not breathing or not breathing normally, cover the baby’s mouth and nose with your mouth and give 2 gentle breaths. Each breath should be 1 second long. You should see the baby’s chest rise with each breath.

You can see exactly how it’s done here:

And there’s one more type of CPR:

CPR for Cats & Dogs

That’s right. If you’ve got pets and they’re fighting to stay alive, then you should know how you can help them. Here’s what you should do:

Step #1: Remove any obstruction

Open animals mouth and make sure the air passage is clear. If not remove the object obstructing the air passage.

Step #2: Extend the head and give several artificial respirations:

A. For large dogs: close the animal’s jaw tightly and breathe into the nose. The animal’s chest should rise. Give 2 breaths.

B. For small dogs and cats you may be able to cover the nose and mouth with your mouth as you breathe. The animal’s chest should rise. Give 2 breaths.

Step #3: PUMP

A. For large dogs you may be able to position the dogs on its back and compress the chest just like for humans.

B. For small dogs and cats as well as large dogs with funnel chests, you may need to lie the animal on its side and compress the side of the rib cage. Alternatively you can position the animal on its back and press on both sides of the rib cage.

C. The rate of chest compressionsvaries with the size of the animal

Dogs over 60 lbs: 60 compressions per minute

Animals 11 to 60 lbs: 80-100 compressions per minute

Animals 10 lbs or less: 120 compressions per minute

Step #4: Alternate breaths with compressions

The ratio of compressions to breaths should be approximately the same as for humans – 30:2 Continue doing this until the animal responds or begins to breathe on its own.

There’s no video here, unfortunately. They probably didn’t have a dog-shaped dummy, but it’s great they thought about pets, too.

Again, I truly hope you’ll never need this info. But if you ever do, try to replicate the moves you see in the videos.

And don’t forget the essentials: CALL 911, PUMP the chest and BLOW air into lungs.

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